There is a good chance you haven’t heard of V2V. It’s stands for Vehicle to Vehicle communication and it might be best described a Mesh WiFi Network for vehicles. I had a hands on (sort of) with the tech at CES last week and while automated driving will take many years to make it’s way to your garage, V2V will arrive sooner than you think.
V2V isn’t about connecting you, but your car and thus you to a network. But not a network that allows you to surf the web. It’s a network that allows your car to talk to other cars without line of sight or the need for proximity. And thus, as you might have deduced, is all in the name of safety. So using a combination of GPS positioning, radar and perhaps other sensors placed on your and other cars on the road, your vehicle will soon be able to warn you, and other drivers, of an impending crash.
Some examples include blind spot monitoring. Sure, we’re all familiar with it. A sensor detects when a large object (generally a car) is sitting in the car’s blind spot. However, “blind spot” isn’t predictive, so the car has to already be there for the warning to activate. Hardly useful if someone is approaching at a high rate of speed on the left or ride side of the car on a highway. This is where V2V comes in to place. By calculating speed and position, V2V will be able to warn drivers through an audible tone and haptics (seat vibrations), that a car is rapidly approaching and perhaps poses a threat.
Another great example, as depicted in the video above, is one I’ve faced often on Southern California freeways: you’re following a car when suddenly the vehicle two ahead, the one you can’t see, suddenly brakes. The V2V system is able to provide an audible warning and allow the driver to negotiate their way to safety.
Use cases are vast, including blind spot monitoring and perhaps even scenarios from the rear. The tech is still a bit nascent and isn’t quite ready for prime time, as evidenced when our test car lost the GPS signal, though some credit (or discredit) has to be attributed to the low powered nature of the current test equipment – Ford assured me this would be addressed going forward as they’re trying to just refine other parts of the system. That all said, a large chunk of car manufacturers are onboard, including Ford who took me for a test drive, albeit as a passenger.